Monday, March 15, 2004

they always come back

when your past comes back it's a bit of a kick in the pants - one of those kicks that miss the meaty part of your ass and gets you right on the tailbone. and then the pain goes straight up and down your spine making your knees buckle. that kind of kick.

and when people talk about their past, it's always an ex-someone they're talking about, really. ex-lover, ex-fling, ex-boyfriend, ex-drunken reason why you don't go to a certain bar anymore. you think you know how to deal with it, even when you tell yourself they were inconsequential, but you don't really. how does one prepare themselves for a hard boot to the tailbone?

blah-di-blah-di-blah: yeah, a couple of old ones came back, fingering me over email, leaving voicemail messages that make my hands shake or rear back from the computer screen in horror - no!! i thought you were gone, buried in a cask behind a brick wall, chained and dumped in the north branch of the river! incognito latino found me on nerve again, despite my blocks, my deletions and refusals to be drawn back in to his lonely intensity. i immediately deleted his message without reading it; his is a place i don't want to revisit. i didn't behave particularly well and i regret that slightly.

i don't get particularly mushy-hearted over exes. they become such for a reason, and those reasons are usually good ones: boredom, sudden dislike, boredom, or the gradual dawning realization that this person will never be as fun as your girlfriends. and once you realize any or all of these things, you make a decision as soon as you can and extricate yourself as humanely as possible. (everyone has every right to leave everyone else, but it's not cool to be deliberately cruel.) once extrication has been achieved, whether neatly or sloppily, i don't think one should look back. the loop has been closed, the circle completed.

one girlfriend of mine was dumped years ago by a small-souled man named michael. it cracked her core and she took 2 years to recover. during those two years, she constantly asked, Why? i refrained from answering, Because. and during those 2 years she badgered him for an answer she could accept, tearing at him like a thistle. she said she was doing this in the service of some future closure but i disagreed: closure had already been achieved when he said those two words, 'it's over.' one might take issue with his timing and tact, but i'm pretty sure michael thought the door of that relationship firmly closed.

and even when those magical words aren't spoken, but acted, it's the same thing: someone suddenly disappears, drops from sight so quickly and thoroughly, you expect to see his face on a carton of milk. and so it was with MR. he's not technically an ex, but he is a past...someone. one day we looked around and we each weren't there. the loss was so clean, so fast, i barely registered it.

but now...he's back, even if it's just for a 3 hour stopover on his way to Korea in two weeks. this reappearance is more ... i don't know. bittersweet? no, not bitter.

it's more like...reading a novel, turning the last page and seeing a little epilogue where you find out what happened after all the main action's done. you see it, exclaim 'yay!' and when you're finished taking everything in, sighing, you put the book on the shelf until you need to read your favorite bits all over again.

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